Spot Freight economy
The spot market economy for freight has been “recovering” for much of the time. The latest catchphrases for the market critical to smaller fleets and owner-operators are “soft” according to the latest from the research.
A industry researcher, characterize the spot market economy as “soft”! Especially in two critical segments of freight-hauling: dry van and reefer. Broker-posted spot rates for both segments were down week-over-week, as was the load volume on the spot market. Further minor decreases in rates or volume would not necessarily indicate that the spot market is undergoing anything more significant than seasonal weakness.
The linehaul rate of around $1.70 already is a three-year low going back to March 2020. Dry van spot rates are down 70% compared to this time last year. The spot rate of $2.49 per mile is the lowest in a year and that volumes there were down 2% last week. It certainly looks like volumes will be relatively flat for the foreseeable future … and moving sideways according to some of the experts.
Matters are incrementally better in freight and rates in the contract market, which is mostly used by larger trucking companies. While the spot market is utilized for the most part by smaller trucking companies and owner-operators. We continue to see evidence the inventory cycle is improving, which means bloated stocks will stop being a headwind. That eventually will help truck freight volumes.
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